Funded by the Government of Canada through the Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector a wage subsidy of up to 75% of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500.

The wage subsidy is available for employers who hire students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution for a paid position to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program. The wage subsidy can be accessed by businesses from all facets of the visitor economy: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. 

How Does It Work?

Employers register on the Propel online portal, post the position they wish to fill, hire a student, and then apply for a wage subsidy.

Employers can download this guide for detailed instructions on how to create an account and navigate the application portal.

When Is It Available?

Currently, wage subsidies are available for student salaries paid from June 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

Already hired a student for a work-integrated learning placement? If the placement took place after June 1, 2021, you could be reimbursed for up to 75% of their wages! Email propel@tourismhr.ca to learn more.

Have a student actively on a placement with you? You could be reimbursed for up to 75% of their wages–both those paid to date and those going forward. Register on the Propel portal to apply for a wage subsidy.

Planning to fill a spot for late fall or over the winter? Register on the Propel portal to post a work-integrated learning opportunity and apply for a wage subsidy.

Looking ahead to the 2022 summer season? If you’re seeking to employ a student on a work-integrated learning placement after March 31, 2022, please let us know via this webform.

Who Qualifies?

Employers

Registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector. The position must be a work-integrated learning placement.

Students

Domestic students registered at a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution in a program with work placement component; must be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.

What Are the Placement Criteria?

  • Full- or part-time work-integrated learning opportunity
  • A minimum of 20 hours a week
  • A minimum of 4 weeks
  • With a tourism/hospitality employer and/or related to a tourism/hospitality job function
  • Taking place in a safe environment
  • On-site, remote, and hybrid placements are all eligible
  • Not funded by other federal grants or programs (including Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy [CEWS] and Canada Recovery Hiring Program [CRHP])
  • Student must be hired as an employee of the company (not as an independent contractor)
  • Employer cannot hire an immediate family member, unless a clear, transparent, and fair nepotism policy is in place
  • Student cannot be replacing a displaced worker or filling a role left vacant due to a labour dispute

Email propel@tourismhr.ca if you have questions on any of the above.

What Is Work-Integrated Learning?

Work-integrated learning (WIL) refers to a continuum of learning opportunities ranging from structured work experience to instances where the employer engages directly with the post-secondary education institution to address a particular challenge.

It can include:

  • Co-op placements
  • Internships
  • Practicums
  • Mentorships
  • Field placements
  • Applied projects

The goal is to accelerate the integration of new graduates with high-growth job prospects, as well as foster improved and sustainable partnerships between employers and the post-secondary education system.

For more information on the benefits and types of work-integrated learning, visit this detailed resource from our partners at Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada.

How Can I Learn More?

Tourism HR Canada is hosting a series of virtual info sessions on the Propel Student Work Placement Program, including an overview of the eligibility criteria and application process. A Q&A session with attendees follows the presentation.

The next session will be offered on Thursday, December 9, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Click the button below to register.

The Propel program has also featured on the Into the WILderness podcast. Listen here.

FAQs

Employers can sign up through the online Propel portal, hosted by Magnet. Once registered, they can post work-integrated learning opportunities for students to apply for. They may also begin an application for a wage subsidy; the application will be finalized only once a student has been hired and all the required information and documentation has been submitted to show the employer and the student meet the eligibility criteria.

An Employer Guide is available here to assist employers with the registration and application process. 

The Student Work Placement Program offers a wage subsidy of up to 75% of a qualifying student’s wages, up to a maximum of $7,500.

A qualified employer can hire multiple students, provided there are sufficient resources to ensure a meaningful work-integrated learning experience for each one.

Yes, the wage subsidy is offered for qualifying placements dating back to June 1, 2021. To apply, please visit the Propel online portal.

The tourism sector includes five different industry groups: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. These include businesses and organizations related to events, concerts, meetings and conventions, museums, galleries, cultural and heritage sites, destination marketing, tour operators, and more.

The Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program supports partnerships between industry and post-secondary education institutions to create quality work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students so they can develop work-ready skills required to secure meaningful employment upon graduation.

Tourism HR Canada, which coordinates the Propel program, offers a wide range of resources for tourism and hospitality employers. Please email propel@tourismhr.ca to find out more about resources to help create a successful work-integrated learning program.

Propel is a key component of the recovery of Canada’s visitor economy.

  • Provides a link to students with a demonstrated interest in working in the sector upon graduation
  • Offers a wage subsidy to the hardest-hit businesses as they reopen
  • Creates a talent pipeline for tourism employers
  • Supports students with paid placements as they explore the diverse opportunities available in the sector and gain valuable hands-on experience
  • Encourage students to consider studying tourism and hospitality by offering direct, paid connections with employers
  • Strengthen ties between education and industry to ensure ongoing engagement and dialogue about skills and talent development

If you would like additional information about Propel, the Student Work Placement Program, or work-integrated learning, please email propel@tourismhr.ca.

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